The Green Tourism Business Scheme

Winton House, an exclusive use corporate hospitality venue and private castle in East Lothian half an hour from Edinburgh, has just achieved a Silver Award as a sustainable tourism operation through the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS). This is down to “staff and management commitment” and good, sustainable practice. Winton joins other well known tourist venues with silver awards such as Edinburgh Castle and The Royal Yacht Britannia. The GTBS is the UK’s most highly regarded sustainable tourism certification scheme.

The Green Tourism report states that: “The Estate as a whole is committed to responsible practices…” and the “work with natural heritage on site directly contributes to Winton House as a unique venue. The use of a wood chip boiler fired by the Estate’s own wood adds to reducing the site’s carbon footprint and makes good use of Estate resources. The Estate is also committed to buying goods and services from East Lothian where possible. The site also has some good waste management practices in place.”

Guests relaxing after a Winton Games and BBQ
Guests relaxing after a Winton Games and BBQ

Sir Francis Ogilvy, the owner and Estate factor, whose family live in the west wing of Winton House, says:

“I’m delighted that we’ve achieved this Green Tourism Award; we like to think that ‘Corporate Responsibility’ has been at the heart of the management of Winton Estate for hundreds of years!

“We are part of the local community and this is at the heart of managing the Estate, the House and the self-catering farmhouses. Local suppliers are used as much as possible and the majority of employees, tradesmen, contractors and musicians live locally, here in East Lothian.

“Winton House’s chefs use a lot of locally-produced foods for both corporate and private events: Winton beef, game birds, venison, chicken, lamb, fruit and vegetables, hand-baked organic bread, and Belhaven trout. We also serve local Glenkinchie whiskies and East Lothian Brammle liqueurs after dinners here.”

Hot water and heating in the House are provided by a wood chip boiler
Hot water and heating in the House are provided by a wood chip boiler

Winton House and four Estate cottages use heating and hot water generated by our pioneering wood chip boiler. The boiler burns wood chips and poor quality timber from Estate woods, reducing our annual carbon emissions by some 100 tonnes.

About a third of the 2,000 acre Winton Estate is wooded which naturally contributes to around 2,500 tonnes of carbon being absorbed from the atmosphere each year, equivalent to the carbon emissions from 250 average households.

Sir Francis Ogilvy continues:

“We try to use chemicals on the Estate farms sparingly, and our farming policies encourage biodiversity. We’ve created ponds and wetlands, extended hedgerows, provided uncropped areas, buffer strips along the River Tyne and wildlife field margins where animals and birds can thrive. The Kingfisher has now returned and the number of native partridge are increasing.

“Our teams work hard to run our corporate hospitality, self-catering and farming operations in a sustainable way, but we know there is always more we can do. We are taking on board the recommendations from the Green Tourism audit with a view to going for a Gold award within two years; to this end, we plan to offer more ‘green events’, make it easier for guests to use public transport, reduce our electicity and water consumption, upgrade the loft insulation in the House, and buy more Fair Trade products.”

More information is available in the Corporate Responsibility section of the Winton House website.


Background for Editors

Winton House, an exclusive use venue, is perfect for memorable conferences, dinners and activities. Winner of World Travel Awards for three years for its exceptional customer care, Winton’s blue chip corporate guests have included Barclays, The Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Life, Tescos Personal Finance, BBC Worldwide, Cisco Systems, Mercedes Benz, Microsoft, Toyota, PGA of America, as well as leading companies from France, Spain and Sweden.

Winton House’s layout with inter-connecting halls, drawing room, King Charles room, Cabinet Room and dining room, means that it caters well for intimate corporate dinners and business lunches for up to 84 people, as well as for bigger dinners of up to 200. It also provide team-building activities including the Winton Highland Games and clay pigeon shooting with the 22 times Scottish champion.

For more information, please contact Christopher Lamotte on 07957 870071 or Morag Morrison, Events and Marketing Manager, at Winton House on 01875 340222 or by email at